Steven D. Rauch, M.D., named Champion of Vestibular Medicine

December 04, 2015

RauchwebContact: Suzanne Day, Office of Communications

Boston, Mass. — The Vestibular Disorders Association (VEDA) has recognized Steven D. Rauch, M.D., Director of the Vestibular Division at Mass. Eye and Ear and Professor of Otolaryngology at Harvard Medical School, with the 2015 Champion of Vestibular Medicine Award. Dr. Rauch is an otologist and researcher specializing in disorders of the ear and vestibular system, a complex network that relies on sensory inputs to maintain the body’s position and balance.

An organization dedicated to increasing awareness of vestibular disorders that affect the inner ear and brain, the VEDA presents the award annually to medical professionals “who have had a significant impact on increasing awareness of vestibular disorders,” says Cynthia Ryan, VEDA’s executive director.

“VEDA fills a critical need for the vast community of patients with dizziness and balance problems,” said Dr. Rauch. “They are a constant and reliable source of accurate patient education information and advocacy. I am honored to receive this recognition from them.”

This is the second year in a row that a Mass. Eye and Ear vestibular professional has been recognized by the VEDA with this award. Daniel M. Merfeld, Ph.D., Director of the Jenks Vestibular Physiology Laboratory at Mass. Eye and Ear and Professor of Otolaryngology at Harvard Medical School, was an inaugural recipient in 2014.

Dr. Rauch has dedicated much of his career to improving diagnoses and treatment strategies for patients with vestibular disorders. Mass. Eye and Ear is one of the few hospitals in the world with a dedicated Vestibular Division, which Dr. Rauch directs, leading a highly experienced team of otologists, neurologists and allied health care professionals, with state-of-the-art diagnostic facilities for investigating and managing issues of balance and dizziness.

Additionally, Dr. Rauch extends his expertise beyond his own community by training other physicians in the diagnosis and management of vestibular disorders, especially as preceptor of the Neskey-Coghlan Fellowship in Balance and Vestibular Disorders, a post-residency fellowship program (and the only one of its kind) based at Mass. Eye and Ear.

One large epidemiological study estimates that as many as 35 percent of adults 40 years or older in the United States (approximately 69 million Americans) have experienced some form of vestibular dysfunction in their lifetimes.

“So many vestibular patients suffer for years before receiving an accurate diagnosis, if they ever get one,” says Sheelah Woodhouse, President of VEDA’s board of directors. “VEDA’s number one goal is to reduce the time it takes to diagnose a vestibular disorder. We want to shine a light on this invisible illness so that vestibular patients don’t feel so alone.”

Information for this release was provided by the Vestibular Disorders Association.

About the Vestibular Disorders Association
For over 25 years, the Vestibular Disorders Association has provided objective information, advocacy, and a caring support network to people with vestibular disorders and the health professionals who treat them. The organization is headquartered in Portland, Ore. For more information, visit 

About Massachusetts Eye and Ear
Mass. Eye and Ear clinicians and scientists are driven by a mission to find cures for blindness, deafness and diseases of the head and neck. Now united with Schepens Eye Research Institute, Mass. Eye and Ear is the world's largest vision and hearing research center, developing new treatments and cures through discovery and innovation. Mass. Eye and Ear is a Harvard Medical School teaching hospital and trains future medical leaders in ophthalmology and otolaryngology, through residency as well as clinical and research fellowships. Internationally acclaimed since its founding in 1824, Mass. Eye and Ear employs full-time, board-certified physicians who offer high-quality and affordable specialty care that ranges from the routine to the very complex. U.S. News & World Report’s “Best Hospitals Survey” ranked the Mass. Eye and Ear Department of Otolaryngology as number one in the nation this year. For more information about life-changing care and research, or to learn how you can help, please visit